Tag Archives: Val Saintsbury

Shouldn’t Patriot Day be Every Day?

12 Sep

September 11th is a hard day for everyone.  For some it brings back memories they’d just as soon forget.  But alas cannot.  For many it reminds them our Nation is filled with heroes.  For countless it’s a day to show their patriotic spirit.  And sadly for others, despite the passage of time, it’s still unbearable.  And I understand that. 

As I do every year, yesterday I attended a Memorial Service to recognize those who lost their lives and futures on that dark day.  The ceremony is marked by prayer, reflection, song and the telling of some of those heroic stories.  

The firefighters who ran in when everyone else was desperately trying to get out.  Their sense of honor and duty is a story that needs to be told.  Yesterdya, just as our ceremony got underway, one of our Fire stations got an emergency call and had to abruptly leave the rest of us.  Duty first.  We were all happy to watch the fire engine and rescue unit reunite with us a short time later.  Each member returning, all of us thankful no man was left behind.  These men are heroes.

We were told the story of Father Mychal Judge, a gay Catholic priest who was the Chaplain for the NYC Fire Department.  While giving last rites to a firefighter, Fr. Judge lost his own life.  This man was a hero.

The 72 law enforcement officers who perished.  No other day in history has claimed the lives of so many members of this courageous and respected fraternity.  For me, a reality that hits very close to home.  Heroes every last one.

The events of September 11, 2001.  3,000 people died.  Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters.  Husbands and Wives, Grandparents.  Friends and Colleagues.  Human beings.  3,000 hearts came to a stop.  Heroes?  Maybe not, but I’d like to think it’s just because their actions haven’t all come to light.  Our country has vowed to never forget.  I made that vow.  I intend to keep it.

Do you remember the eerie feeling when all air traffic came to an abrupt halt?  The FAA made an unprecedented decision to clear the airspace of all commercial, military and private airliners.  They began ordering emergency landings and diverting international traffic.  The skies were quiet.  Do you remember the sound?  I’ll never forget it. 

September 11th is a hard day for us all.  Yesterday’s memorial service was an opportunity to focus on the heroes.  9/11 was a day we’re forced to remember.  But it was also the most shining example of what this country is made of.  It was a lesson in humanity and selflessness.  It was a reminder that we are one Nation.  One people. 

September 11th is officially Patriot Day, but shouldn’t every day be?  This is a challenge to all of you to stand up and be heard.  It means making a conscious effort to give back to the greatest country on earth.  She doesn’t owe us.  We owe her.  Extend a helping hand.  Speak a kind word.  Right a wrong.  And fly her colors proudly. 


“A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.”

  ~George William Curtis


“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”

  ~Abraham Lincoln


And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

  ~Lee Greenwood


“There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream.  They are right.  It is the American dream.”

  ~Archibald MacLeish


“America is a tune.  It must be sung together.”

  ~Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds


“If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.” 

  ~Hamilton Fish


“If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag.”

  ~Author Unknown


“We can’t all be Washingtons, but we can all be patriots.”

  ~Charles F. Browne


“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

  ~Louis D. Brandeis


“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

 ~ Ronald Reagan 


“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

 ~Elmer Davis


“This, then, is the state of the union:  free and restless, growing and full of hope.  So it was in the beginning.  So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.”

  ~Lyndon B. Johnson


“If you take advantage of everything America has to offer, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.”

  ~Geraldine Ferraro


“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

  ~William J. Clinton


“He loves his country best who strives to make it best.”

  ~Robert G. Ingersoll


Off with your hat, as the flag goes by!
And let the heart have its say;
you’re man enough for a tear in your eye
that you will not wipe away.

  ~Henry Cuyler Bunner


“My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”

  ~Thomas Jefferson


“It is sweet to serve one’s country by deeds, and it is not absurd to serve her by words.”



“My favorite thing about the United States?  Lots of Americans, one America. “

 ~Val Saintsbury


“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.”

  ~Gary Hart


“We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution.”

  ~John F. Kennedy


“I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

 ~ George W. Bush


“I believe in America because we have great dreams – and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.”

  ~Wendell L. Wilkie


“A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.”

  ~Bill Vaughan


“May I never wake up from the American dream.”

  ~Carrie Latet


Peace.  Now more than ever, in our constant pursuit ~ We all must work to create it, encourage it, support it and for 3,000 may they rest in it.

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